Erik ten Hag was desperate to bring Kane to Old Trafford this summer but United backed away from a move amid concerns about the cost of the deal and negotiating with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. Kane – who confirmed there was interest from other clubs this summer – instead joined Bayern in a deal worth up to £100 million.
And now the England captain is ready to show United just what they passed on as the serial German champions bid to exploit the English club’s troubles at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
“I don’t know about the perfect time [to play United] – there can be a big response from teams going through a difficult spell but of course we need to use circumstances to our advantage, to go with big confidence at home in front of our fans,” said Kane, who has four goals in as many games for Bayern.
“It is important to start the game on the front foot and really try and put the pressure on the opposition. That is what we will try and do. They have some big threats as well, on the counter-attack they have some really quick players, so we need to be wary of that but overall it’s a game we want to try to dominate and try to keep the pressure on and hopefully break them down as the game goes on.”
Kane, 30, said there were discussions with a number of clubs during the summer and it is understood the England captain would have been open to waiting until next year to join United as a free agent had he been given assurances a move would happen.
But with United deciding to pursue a £72 million deal for the Denmark striker Rasmus Højlund as a younger, long-term prospect, Kane ultimately resolved his best interests would be served by a switch to Bayern.
“To be honest, obviously over the summer I know there were some talks between a few clubs in the background, but Bayern was a team I was really interested by and really excited by so there weren’t many other discussions,” Kane said.
“Once they came in, it was between them and Tottenham to talk and the deal got done. My focus is on here. Obviously Manchester United are a great club but I decided to come here and I’m really happy I have.”
Kane is just 43 goals short of equalling Alan Shearer’s record of 260 Premier League goals but says he is more bothered about winning the biggest trophies than personal accolades.
“I don’t think it was something I was thinking about,” he said. “There was a lot of noise around it and I completely understand it, being so close to the record, but those individual records have never been something that I solely focus on.
“They are a consequence of hard work and doing my best for the team but ultimately for me it was how can I push myself and how can I get better and better and I felt like challenging for the Champions League and challenging for titles every year was the best way to put myself in that situation. So that was why I chose Bayern Munich, that’s why I’m here now and that’s where my focus is.”
United have lost three of their past four Premier League matches and come into the Bayern match on the back of a 3-1 defeat at home to Brighton on Saturday.
Raphael Varane and Mason Mount were both pictured at training on Tuesday morning after injuries but neither player nor Harry Maguire have travelled to Germany while Sofyan Amrabat and Kobbie Mainoo, both of whom worked alone, have not made the trip either. Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tyrell Malacia and Amad Diallo are also injured, Antony and Jadon Sancho remain absent for off field issues and midfielder Donny van de Beek has not been registered for the Champions League.
Thomas Tuchel, the Bayern coach and former Chelsea manager, believes the shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson still looms over United but warned his players not to underestimate Ten Hag’s side.
“I felt with Manchester United there was always a lot of noise, a lot of pundits are ex-players from Manchester United, you have this legacy from Sir Alex Ferguson which creates a lot of pressure, a lot of expectation around Manchester United,” Tuchel said.
“It tells you you work at a big club, big expectation, big success. All of us here in Bayern and my colleague at Manchester United want to achieve the same things.”